Thursday, January 8, 2009

Finding Nobody

Pixar's best film

I greatly enjoy the films Pixar creates. From Toy Story through Wall-E they have not done a bad film. They've made films I'm not overly fond of -- Monsters, Inc. I think was a little weak compared to their other works -- but it is still leaps and bounds ahead of most films. My favorite of these films is Finding Nemo.

Everything about the film, from the level of detail in the fish and how they move to the expressions on their faces to the particles and light effects in the water; the film is almost perfect. I've seen is numerous times -- more than any other Pixar film and most films period -- and I am consistently amazed by it. I've never grown tired of it or thought "eh, I'm bored" while watching it. I mean, how can you not get a giddy smile on your face when you hear the line "I shall call him Squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy"? See? Just thinking about it put a little smile on your face.

All humor and artistic qualities aside, Finding Nemo still has the great story and moral behind it -- you can't live your life in fear. You've got to get out and do things yourself. You've got experience life in order to live it. Like Dory says, "Well you can't never let anything anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo." While we have a natural tendency to protect those we love (and ourselves), we have to be willing to take chances, to experience things that may be dangerous or hurt us, because those same things can also give us great joy. Be it physical, mental, or emotional, we need to push ourselves and take risks. We need to make ourselves vulnerable. Only then can do we live.

Finding Nobody?

There's one other aspect of Finding Nemo that wasn't brought to my attention until a year ago. The film's title, Finding Nemo. A friend of mine when I worked at Barnes & Noble pointed out that it's a funny title because Nemo translates into "no name" or "nobody." The film's title is literally Finding Nobody. Marlin finds Nemo physically, yes, but he finds himself mentally and emotionally. He pushes himself and learns about life. For probably the first time since his wife (do fish get married in Pixar films?) died, he really lives. He's not finding anyone at all; he's finding himself. His son is just the catalyst that pushes him to do that.

I don't know if Pixar planned that or they just liked the name Nemo, but the double name and how it fits into the story just makes me more impressed by them.

1 comment:

--jeff * said...

yes, i smiled at the squishy. = )

with the pixar guys being such geeks, there's no way they would not know about the deeper meaning of the title. the whole theme of the movie is all aimed directly at that.

it's interesting we can like and love something and take from it even without realizing why we like it. and it's even cooler when you start pulling at it and realizing why you like it, because it's so rich.

i don't think i said that well, but you said it plenty well in your post.
nice work.